A pack of “dinosaurs” confronted lawmakers returning from summer recess today outside Leinster House in Dublin, home to the Irish Parliament. The PETA protesters were calling on members of the Dáil Éireann (TDs) to make the prehistoric practice of hare coursing extinct in Ireland.
Ireland Lags Behind the Times
Ireland lags behind the times and its neighbours in failing to ban this blood sport, in which terrified hares are chased and sometimes killed by greyhounds. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have already banned the outdated practice, and Irish leaders must finally take a stand for 21st century values.
Hare Coursing Cruelty
Hare coursing is a cruel pursuit that’s terrifying for hares, who are caught with nets and boxes and then tattooed, spray-painted, or microchipped before they’re chased down by dogs.
The fear and stress of being chased can cause heart failure and sudden death, and those who are hit or caught by the dogs may be mauled to death or die later from shock or injuries.
The dogs involved are also victims of the industry. Often subjected to intense training, they’re treated not as cherished members of the family but as money-making machines. They’re usually kept in concrete outdoor kennels, repeatedly used for breeding, and abandoned when they get injured or are deemed too slow for coursing and no longer profitable.
Public Support for a Ban
Actor and PETA US Honorary Director Pamela Anderson has previously written to Taoiseach Micheál Martin imploring him to ban hare coursing, which she called a “twisted idea of amusement”.
There’s also overwhelming opposition to the sadistic ritual from Irish people, as 77% of the Irish public wants a ban on hare coursing in Ireland.
Fortunately, there’s hope for change. In 2020, Paul Murphy TD introduced a private members’ bill, the Animal Health and Welfare (Ban on Hare Coursing) Bill, which will be debated in the Irish Parliament in due course.
How You Can Help
Please support our campaign to end hare coursing in Ireland by sending an e-mail to the Irish government now.
If you’re Irish, please also write to your TD asking them to support a ban and speak in favour of the bill when it is debated.
You can also join future demonstrations such as this one by joining our action team.